Is it Safe to Pet a Squirrel?

Squirrels are cute, fluffy creatures that are regularly seen on the lawns and trees of nearly every property in the Greater Boston area. Squirrels can be so adorable as they scamper around that it is understandable a person may be inclined to pet them. However, if the opportunity to pet a squirrel presents itself, is it safe to do so? Here is some information on whether or not it is safe to pet a squirrel.

Why It Is not Safe to Pet a Squirrel

Squirrels are wild animals that should only be handled by professionals who are trained and equipped to deal with wildlife. While petting a squirrel may seem like a caring, loving gesture, that message may ultimately not make it across to the animal. In fact, you may touch a squirrel in a way that is uncomfortable or even dangerous to the animal. The risk of hurting the squirrel is even greater when you consider that most wild squirrels are not used to being handled by people. Therefore, if you try to touch it or grab it, it will likely do anything it can to escape. This will likely cause the squirrel great stress and fear and may even provoke it to attack you or contort its body in a way that will cause it pain.

The Health Risks of Petting a Squirrel

Another reason why it’s not safe to have a pet squirrel is that they can possibly carry numerous diseases that they can pass to you through bites and scratches. For example, squirrels are known to carry diseases like typhus and leptospirosis, as well as fleas and ticks that can cause further infections. While you are unlikely to contract these diseases from a distance, the risk of disease transfer increases significantly when you handle a squirrel directly.

Avoiding Direct Squirrel Contact

You may be thinking that if you can’t catch a squirrel to pet, there may be other ways you can interact with the animal. However, any direct interaction between humans and squirrels is not advised. Furthermore, feeding squirrels is a bad idea because doing so will train them to frequent your property where they can cause all sorts of damages to your home and yard. With their sharp teeth, squirrels are known to chew through roof vents, ducts, and materials to access residential attics. Once inside, they will nest, breed, and chew up insulation, wooden beams, electrical wires, and plastic plumbing pipes, which can be expensive to repair. At the end of the day, the best way to respect and enjoy a squirrel is to simply observe it in nature.

Squirrel Removal Experts in Boston

As adorable as they may appear, squirrels can be extremely destructive to your property. If you notice the presence of squirrels inside or around your Greater Boston area home or business, please keep a safe distance from the critters and contact the licensed and trained squirrel removal professionals at Critter Control® of Boston.

Our wildlife technicians are experienced in removing squirrels safely, humanely, and efficiently from commercial and residential properties while minimizing any damages or health risks they may pose to you, your family, and your property. To schedule an inspection of your Greater Boston area property, call us at 617-975-0440 today.


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